UK Casino Revenue Report: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the UK Gambling Landscape — Perhaps Permanently

LONDON, July 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Leanbackplayer has released a new report on how the UK gaming industry was affected…

LONDON, July 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Leanbackplayer has released a new report on how the UK gaming industry was affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic:

As the world continues to learn how to effectively grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses everywhere are having to learn to adapt to survive — and that includes the gambling industry. The pandemic has led to a sizable dip in gambling revenue in the UK, mostly due to the fact that brick-and-mortar casinos have been closed as a result of government-mandated lockdowns.

However, online casinos have managed to pick up quite a bit of the slack from their land-based counterparts, as reports released by both the UK Gambling Commission and HM Revenue and Customs both show. That could have far-reaching effects on the overall health and makeup of the industry — assuming that the pandemic-related changes to the market remain somewhat consistent after the virus has faded into obscurity.

Both Tax Revenues and GGY Have Dipped in 2020 and 2021

While the UK Gambling Commission has only released numbers dating back to September 2020, the data they’ve compiled — along with information released by the casinos themselves — indicate there could be as much as a 15% drop in GGY compared to previous years.

Tax revenues have been similarly affected, as HM Revenue and Customs reports a 6% drop in the fiscal year ending in March 2021 compared to previous years.

What’s Driving Those Losses?

Those losses are not uniform across the industry, however. Land-based casinos have been the hardest hit, as many have been forced to shutter completely for months while the government tries to stem the tide of the virus.

COVID-19 has also forced the cancellation of high-profile sporting events that would otherwise have been valuable money makers for online and brick-and-mortar casinos alike. As a result, taxes on live casinos plummeted by 62% from April 2020 to March 2021.

The numbers provided by online casinos tell a different tale, however. Online and remote betting provided a 25% increase in tax revenue, and their total tax contribution of £885 million represent 31% of the funds collected by HM Revenue and Customs over that time period.

What Does the Future Hold?

Those numbers provide a measure of hope for those in the industry, as it’s expected that, once COVID-related restrictions are lifted, brick-and-mortar revenues should roar back to their previous numbers, or at least close to them. If online and remote casinos can sustain their recent popularity, it could lead to a boom in the gaming industry that benefits all the players involved.

The future remains in flux, due to concerns over both the frustrating persistence of the COVID-19 virus and uncertainty as to how the public will respond when lockdowns are finally lifted for good. However, all the signs point to a gambling industry that’s healthy yet dormant, and if that’s the case, a wide-open future should be very lucrative for casinos of all kinds.

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